Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Maldives, Aishath Nahula, today jointly e-launched a direct cargo ferry service between India and Maldives.

During its maiden voyage, a vessel with a capacity of 200 TEU and 3000 MT of breakbulk cargo will sail from Tuticorin to Kochi today, from where it will proceed to Kulhudhuffushi port in North Maldives and then to Male port. It is scheduled to reach Kulhudhuffushi on September 26, 2020, and Male on September 29, 2020.

This ferry service, being operated by the Shipping Corporation of India, will run twice a month and will provide a cost-effective, direct and alternate means of transportation of goods between India and Maldives.

Speaking on the occasion, Mandaviya noted that this service is another milestone in the comprehensive bilateral relations between India and Maldives. He mentioned that this direct cargo service will further cement the close ties between India and Maldives by enhancing people-to-people contact and boosting bilateral trade.

Nahula expressed deep appreciation for the launch of the service as reflective of the close ties of friendship and cooperation between India and Maldives.

The launch of this service concretely fulfils the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Maldives in June last year and the announcement made by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar during his virtual meeting with the Foreign Minister of Maldives on August 13, 2020.

The senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of External Affairs of India and officials of Maldives were also present.